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School Libraries hold the key to Field Trips of the future.

The idea may seem like a dream given the financial pressures on school libraries in recent years - but a new online offering from Maps.com will enable libraries to present digital learning content in a completely new way.

The Santa Barbara based company, who has provided digital and print materials for major publishers such as McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and National Geographic are positive that media specialists and school librarians will be thrilled with Field Trip Library, which launches this month following extensive beta testing.

Esri, a leading provider of Geographic Data, provides the story-map platform which will carry original content including videos, maps, illustrations and activities designed to engage students and simplify often complex events from history, geography, earth science, popular culture, civics and more.

While much of the content comes from the company’s popular Maps101 resource (currently used in over 3500 schools across the US) it is the way that events are presented using geographical and chronological representations that will maintain students’ interest and aide learning.

For example, Lewis & Clarke’s journey west is broken down by significant locations as their exploration progressed. Each point of interest includes short texts, images and further reading relevant to that stage of the journey.

The content for the Field Trips is assembled around scripts provided by writers and editors with classroom experience, ensuring that the trips all have relevance to the K-12 Teaching environment.

Initially Field Trip Library will be offered as an upgrade to Maps101, which schools can experience together in a free 30 day trial by visiting www.fieldtriplibrary.com after May 6th.

Maps101 is an easy-to-use browser based resource. No installation is required and a single login (currently starting at around $650 per year subject to enrollment) provides access for every library user, classroom, teacher and parent.

With that level of simplicity, and no permission slips or brown bag lunches required, excursions can be leaving your library in no time!